A couple have been sentenced for the theft of nearly 900 beer kegs, recovered by police in two raids in north London. Toma and Diana Ciorba pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court to handling stolen goods worth £76,000.
Mr Ciorba was sentenced to 16 months in prison, and Mrs Ciorba to 12 months suspended for two years, and to 100 hours of community service. The court also recommended that both be deported to Romania.
Police officers arrested the couple after receiving intelligence that beer kegs were being stored in shipping containers at two sites in north London.
They recovered 888 stolen kegs worth between approximately £65 and £165 each, some identified as having been stolen from public houses in north London, Essex and Hertfordshire.
Police worked on the case with the drinks industry anti-theft body Kegwatch.
Detective sergeant Daryl Keogh said: “Keg theft is a serious problem nationally. This was reflected during sentence, when the judge described the operation as ‘sophisticated and serious criminality’.
“My hope that this custodial sentence will act as a warning to others who see keg theft as an easy target.”